Improving capacities for the quality of groundwater monitoring and management: Groundwater sampling trainings and field surveys in the EUWI+ pilot basins (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Georgia, Moldova) in 2018

The groundwater monitoring teams of the responsible institutions in the EUWI+ partner countries are being trained on best practice of taking groundwater samples during October 2018. The teams are then applying their skills in groundwater surveys to correctly collect samples from 20 monitoring sites per country in the EUWI+ pilot basins, including aspects such as


  • clearly arranging responsibilities with the analysing laboratories beforehand,

  • preparing all required equipment,

  • measuring field data such as temperature, pH or electrical conductivity,

  • taking samples for laboratory analysis

  • labelling, preserving and transporting the samples in line with the requirements for the different chemical parameters to be analysed (major ions, dissolved metals, pesticides)

  • documenting and managing the collected information, which makes it available for future analysis of the chemical and quantitative status of groundwater as required in risk-based and fact-based groundwater management under the Water Framework Directive

These activities are part of the ongoing effort to improve the capacities for groundwater monitoring and management in the EUWI+ pilot basins. Groundwater is essential as a resource for drinking water and for agriculture, and it also sustains many ecosystems such as rivers and wetlands. However, groundwater is subject to many negative human influences, including the abstraction of unsustainable amounts of water and pollution by agriculture and industry.

Therefore, it is crucial to monitor and manage groundwater properly, within the framework of river basin management planning. EUWI+ supports the partner countries in working towards this goal.

Next steps in EUWI+ project:

  • Trainings and surveys still ongoing (2019 also in Ukraine)

  • Laboratory analysis of the taken samples

  • Development of survey reports, based on the previously developed survey manuals and including the collected data

  • Decision on how to use the produced data and planning of the next surveys


Practical information:

Theoretical training in meeting rooms at the beneficiary institutions & practical trainings at groundwater monitoring sites in or near the capitals; training delivered by UBA experts Franko Humer (BY, GE, MD) and Harald Loishandl-Weisz (AM, AZ)

Surveys (groundwater sampling at 20 monitoring sites in each country) by the groundwater sampling experts of the beneficiary institutions, with support by the UBA experts on the first day of the surveys

Useful link:

UBA tweet on the training in AM (

Ministry of Nature Protection

Water Resource Management Agency



Monitoring plays a key role in the implementation of the WFD. The WFD monitoring programme covers quantity, physico-chemistry, morphology and biology (phytoplankton, macro-phytes, phyto-benthos, benthic invertebrates and fish) and it distinguishes between surveillance, operational, investigatory and trend monitoring. The importance of ensured quality and comparability of analytical results is duly addressed by the WFD’s daughter directive on technical specifications for chemical analysis and monitoring of water status (Commission Directive 2009/90/EC – QA/QC Directive).

The WFD foresees an interim report about the implementation of the Programmes of Measures 3 years after implementing the measures.

This activity will develop indicators to monitor the implementation of the programme of measures of the RBMPs and tools to support the visualisation of the monitoring results. Regarding evidence-based data, the focus will be on the development of practices to use socio-economic data to extrapolate quantified information about the main pressures on water resources.


  • Set of indicators to monitor the implementation of the programme of measures of the RBMPs;
  • Model-based methods to extrapolate quantified pressures from available socio-economic data

 Monitoring of Surface Water

Monitoring of surface waters is based on the requirements of the WFD to assess the ecological status of water bodies and will contribute to the development of River Basin Management Plans.

For surface water monitoring capacity building focuses on technical and methodological support with a view to improve monitoring networks for ecological monitoring on the needs of the countries and at regional level for trans-boundary water management.

An emphasis is put on the development of ecological assessment systems where a stepwise approach is applied and tailored to the needs of the countries. Starting with a classification and delineation of water bodies and followed by biological and hydro-morphological monitoring based on pressure impact relations, the basis is built for the implementation of a common ecological status classification system. This will also include monitoring of coastal and transboundary water bodies and aspects of inter-calibration.

Ukraine introduces a new water monitoring system compliant with the EU Water Framework Directive

Legend: Surface Water Monitoring for River Basin Management Plan (©MENR, EU-funded APENA)

Starting from 1 January 2018 Ukraine introduces a new water monitoring system compliant with the EU Water Framework Directive. The EU provides continuously a technical and methodological support for monitoring and sustainable water management in Ukraine and other EU neighbourhood countries. EUWI+ project will significantly improve by 2020 water monitoring infrastructures and processes in 6 partner countries through strengthening of laboratory and monitoring systems including rehabilitation of laboratories and purchase of equipment. One of the expected outputs of the project is to have adequate infrastructure available for sound monitoring of water quality and quantity in pilot areas, to support the process of development of River Basin Management Plans.

"We are introducing in Ukraine exactly the same approaches to the surface waters monitoring as those in the European Union. This means that we will end the situation when several bodies monitored the same indicators, while others did not track anyone; when different bodies made measures in different units, and the national monitoring program did not give a clear picture of the state of water resources, "explained the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak.

Ukraine has undertaken to reform water resources monitoring in accordance with the Association Agreement with the EU. Management of the water sector should be carried out basin-wise. This is required by the Water Framework Directive of the European Union. The main unit of management will be the basin of the water body. In Ukraine, there are 9 river basin districts - the Dnieper, the Danube, the Southern Bug, the Don, the Vistula, the rivers of the Crimea, the Black Sea and the Azov Sea. The reform establishes a link between the payment for water use and the financing of priority water protection activities within the basin. In addition, the new monitoring system will allow everyone access to European-classified data. These data will be published on a special website - Geoportal.

EU support for sustainable water management in Ukraine and other EU neighbourhood countries.


 Project Progress

Kiev, Ukraine, 24 - 25 may 2018: two-day workshop “Delineation of surface water bodies in the EUWI+ pilot area”

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